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01 Oct 2016

Zambian Cultural history – The Tonga People – Their practices and Customs


The Tonga individuals of Zambia inhabit Zambia’s Southern Province. They’re a farming tribe and herding cattle and crop developing would be the two vital facets of their particular old-fashioned economic climate. They’ve a deep link with their particular cattle and land reflecting an old spiritual equilibrium with nature.

The Tonga are thought to-be initial Zambian inhabitants – internet sites dating back to into the eighteenth and 19th hundreds of years were on the Batoka Plateau and old town internet sites near Kalomo and Choma. The oldest site can be bought on Sebanzi Hill on Lochinvar Ranch which will be on side of the Kafue Flats.

Zambian history suggests that 600 years ago a thriving trade centre existed in the Zambezi valley. A website christened Ingombe Ilede was unearthed by Archaeologists plus it showed that men and women existed right here and traded with the Arabs, Chinese and Asia. Copper crosses of about 30cm in total were discovered to own already been the key currency device.

The word ‘Tonga’ indicates ‘independent’ plus it verifies the idea that initially the Tonga men and women didn’t have a centralised governmental framework but lived-in separate family units. Traditionally chieftainship wasn’t an element of the Tonga custom. Rather, priests and rainmakers were seen to-be much more important frontrunners. It had been only when the colonial management was creating its management framework that chiefs were assigned into the Tonga men and women. Due to the modifications due to the colonial management, chieftaincy happens to be an integral part of Tonga politics.

Rather confusingly, there clearly was reference to a Chief Monze well before the British stumbled on Zambia. Chief Monze wasn’t a Chief even as we would understand it but a priest, prophet, rainmaker and mediator. The current Chief Monze who is a spiritual and cultural leader whom commands significant value from a extensive neighborhood descends from an extended lineage dating back to through the 17th century whenever in accordance with old-fashioned tails the very first Chief Monze descended from heaven.

The Lwiindi Gonde Ceremony is the primary Tonga service and is held when you look at the South West of Monze town on final Sunday of Summer. It really is a conventional service filled up with songs, vibrant party and prayer. ‘Gonde’ means dense bush and this is the spot where in fact the shrines of Tonga folks are. It’s the spot where in fact the first ever Chief Monze vanished – custom states that he couldn’t die. Gonde became the burial place for many chiefs although only two are in reality hidden there. (reveal article was written on The Lwiindi Gonde Ceremony which is entitled Zambian Cultural history – The Lwiindi Gonde old-fashioned Ceremony).

This article is impressed by the guide ‘Ceremony! Celebrating Zambia’s Cultural History’. It is fabulous and a visually pleasing guide that I would motivate you to receive. I got mine from ZAIN in Lusaka, Zambia. It really is posted by Celtel Zambia PLC and Seka. First photography, Francois d’Elbee. Coordinating author, Tamara Guhrs. Publisher, Mulunga Kapwepwe. Contributing authors, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, Prof Mapopa Mtonga, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Isaac Smogy Kapinga, Miranda Guhrs, Msatero Tembo, Matiya Ngalande and Joseph Chikuta.